Changing Tastes & E15 Trouble

Changing Tastes & E15 Trouble

Changing Tastes & E15 Trouble plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

The world's largest alcoholic beverage company is seeing new trends in wine consumption that growers need to know about so they can start planting the grape varieties consumers are demanding. Claudia Schubert is President of the wine division of Diageo - and she describes the tastes of younger customers.

SHUBERT:White wines. Certainly chardonnay remains to be the largest variety but we’re seeing a lot of growth in aromatic white varieties such as Muscat. Pinot Grigio is growing very strongly. We’re also seeing trend improving in the red and white blend segments so consumers are looking for that approachable wine style so a lot of vintners have taken the approach to blend those different styles out of varieties.

A recent survey by AAA finds a strong likelihood of consumer confusion and the potential for voided warranties and vehicle damage as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent approval of E15 gasoline.  An overwhelming 95 percent of consumers surveyed have not heard of E15. AAA is urging regulators and the industry to stop the sale of E15 until motorists are better protected. The Renewable Fuels Association Bob Dineen said the AAA study “reflects a pathetic ignorance of EPA’s unprecedented test program.”

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

Anyone who hasn’t heard plenty about the “fiscal cliff” has probably been living on a deserted island somewhere, as that’s been the pet phrase being bandied about Washington D.C. for months, and refers to the numerous major fiscal events that will happen simultaneously as we say goodbye to 2012 and usher in 2013, such as the expiration of several tax relief provisions, as well as deep federal program cuts. Many worry that the proposed fiscal belt tightening for 2013 will put a strangle hold on an already choking economy. This “fiscal cliff” scenario brings the “critters out of the woodwork”, as Grandma used to say. Food activists are jumping at the opportunity it presents them to get certain pet projects passed, such as the taxation of sodas and junk food, and they certainly have their supporters in the government arena. Several lawmakers see the taxing of junk food as an opportunity to “fatten up” government coffers, and if it happens to make even the tiniest of dents in the battle of the bulge, all the better. It’s no surprise though that the proposal of junk food and soda taxes is very unpopular with the American consumer, but is it a way to promote a healthy diet? Probably not. Is it a way for government to make a quick buck? Probably so.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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